Treasurer loses seat on labor negotiating team

FLINT TWP. – In a contentious decision that narrowly passed by a 4-3 vote, the township board has replaced the treasurer with a trustee on the township’s contract negotiation team, for the remainder of their four-year term, ending in 2020.

Treasurer Lisa Anderson vigorously fought against the change which began at the beginning of her term last year when she agreed to have Trustee Tom Klee serve in her place during negotiation of contracts with township firefighters. Klee is the township’s fire commissioner.

Anderson said she did not agree to permanently turn over her spot to Klee. She also cited a township policy which established that personnel committee is made up of the township supervisor, clerk and treasurer. Anderson also offered supporting documents from past negotiations of which none were signed by a trustee, she said.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller argued the board policy identifies the members of the personnel committee but not the contract negotiation team. She also said that she consulted with the township’s labor attorney who said the decision of who serves on the negotiating team could be decided by a vote of the township board.

Trustee Klee said that he wanted to remain on the team in the interest of continuity. He cited more than 50 hours put in on the firefighters’ contract.

Township Clerk Kathy Funk, Trustee Barb Vert and Miller and Klee voted in favor of appointing Klee.

Trustees Frank Kasle and Carol Pfaff- Dahl and Anderson voted no. Kasle, a trustee since 2007, and the longest serving member, said it is the first time that he can recall when the entire board chose the negotiating team. He said it seemed more appropriate that those duties are fulfilled by the three full-time board members – the supervisor, clerk and treasurer, he said.

Klee’s full-time job is with the Carman-Ainsworth School District.

Anderson added that she agreed to allow Klee to temporarily fill her spot on the team because of his experience with members of the fire department.

She also noted that she and Klee cannot both serve on the team because it would constitute a quorum – four members of the township board – which would require an open meeting.

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